Paul Hostovsky


I remember wanting
more than anything
else. By nature
always more timid
than hungry. My entire
childhood that gaunt
tree in the front yard
was dying. It outlived
everyone. I loved
Mrs. Cunningham
in the fifth grade
and the smell of the rain
before the rain
more than the rain itself.
My entire childhood
my father was dying
in his robe and slippers.
A cancer, they said,
was doing pushups,
was growing grapefruits
in his large intestine.
The tree surgeon said
climbing trees for a living
was grand, then he climbed
down and pronounced it
dying. By nature
I mean the perfectly
turned shoulders of trees,
the hunger of animals,
the timidity of animals.
After the surgery
my father parting
his robe, shows me
his scar. I remember
perfectly turning
away, glimpsing
his penis, the pink
tongue of the animal
living in the dying

Paul Hostovsky's poems appear widely online and in print. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac.

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